Skip to main content

Full text of "The Courts Of Europe V-Ii"

COURTS   OF   PARIS,   NAPLES,   ETC.                   39

22nd.    Evening at Madame de Laborde's, where
the Marquis de Cubi£res sang very well.

When Madame d'Osmond was to be presented

seductions and temptations by which she was surrounded,
and none was more respected when she fell. It was surely
permitted at the age of seventy-nine to indulge in a little
gossip and to criticise the conduct of those who, perhaps
with infinitely less right, exhibited greater pretensions to
virtue. It is, I believe, admitted that Madame de la Vallidre,
from her first presentation at Court to the last moment of
her life, continued most constant both to the person and
memory of her royal lover. Although the history of her
liaison with Louis XIV. and her abandonment by that disso-
lute and capricious monarch is too well known to require
comment, perhaps the following lines addressed by her to
Louis, when he left her for Madame de Montespan, may be
less familiar. The lines, however, were not written by herself,
but by the celebrated Gabrielle d'Estr6es, who, under similar
circumstances, addressed them to Henry IV. I say that they
were composed by Gabrielle because they may be seen, written
by her own hand, on the margin of the splendid MS. volume of
the Orations of I so crates, which belonged to her, and which is
now preserved in the Ambrosian Library. I have retained the
orthography of the MS., as it adds to the quaintness and even
to the tenderness of the expressions : *

De vraye amour aultre amour r6ciproque,

C'est le parfait de son plus grand desir;
Mais, si 1'amour de 1'aultre amour se moque,

Pour ung amour trop moing digne choisir,
C'est ung ennuy qui ne donne loysir,

Temps, ne repos pour trouver recomfort.
Le d6sespoir est pire que la mort,

Et jalouzie est ung vraye d6sespoir.
O foy rompue 1 O trop apparent tort,

Pour vous me fault pis que mort recepvoir!

* This cannot be Madame de la Vallidre, mistress of Louis XIV., she having
died in 1710.óNOTE BY PUBLISHER.